Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fact or Fiction?

Fact or Fiction?

Here’s a few interesting tidbits that I’ve heard but been unable to independently verify.

- The LCS started as an industrial technology and concept demonstrator.  The manufacturers never intended it as a functioning warship but the Navy insisted on pushing ahead with it.  This explains some of the puzzling design aspects.

- The Navy’s current lack of armor in warships stems from the immediate post-WWII belief that future combat would involve nuclear weapons and the subsequent recognition that no amount of armor would stand up against atomic bombs. 

- Cyclone class PCs were built for Special Operations forces who then rejected the ships after they were built for reasons not completely clear.  That left the Navy with a class of ship they didn’t want and tried repeatedly to get rid of.

- The Burke Flt III is going to have significantly improved passive armor protection.

- The Burke DDGs were originally intended to have remote mine hunting vehicles and, indeed, several were built with it.  That capability was then dropped.  Supposedly, the reason it was dropped was to prevent a threat to the procurement of the LCS from people who might ask why the LCS was needed if any Burke could conduct mine countermeasures.

- The entire Spruance class was SinkEx’ed to eliminate them as a threat to the then newly developing Aegis program.  At that time, the Spruance with a New Threat Upgrade (NTU) would have rivaled or surpassed the Aegis system in performance.  The Navy decisively eliminated the threat to the favored program.

4 comments:

  1. “”””The LCS started as an industrial technology and concept demonstrator. The manufacturers never intended it as a functioning warship but the Navy insisted on pushing ahead with it. This explains some of the puzzling design aspects.”””’

    It could also explain why they are building a lot of them when they did not even know if the sensors, weapons or swap ability would even work. They were suppose to just build two and then see how it worked but instead then jumped into full production

    “””The Navy’s current lack of armor in warships stems from the immediate post-WWII belief that future combat would involve nuclear weapons and the subsequent recognition that no amount of armor would stand up against atomic bombs. “’’

    Not just a lack of armor but even of subdivision. Even the DDG1000 is built like a WW2 destroyer when it comes to subdivision. It does not even have a double hull which while it would not protect against torpedoes it would help with mines and even running aground. DDG1000 and smaller ships have many spaces with only one thin layer of steel between the ocean and important spaces.

    “””- The Burke DDGs were originally intended to have remote mine hunting vehicles and, indeed, several were built with it. That capability was then dropped. Supposedly, the reason it was dropped was to prevent a threat to the procurement of the LCS from people who might ask why the LCS was needed if any Burke could conduct mine countermeasures.””’

    One problem I can think of with using Burke’s as mine hunters is that they are not particularly good at slow speed maneuvering. They have no bow thruster or other such aids and being stopped near a mine field while your ROV searches for mines would be better if you could keep yourself in one spot and not drift.

    “””The entire Spruance class was SinkEx’ed to eliminate them as a threat to the then newly developing Aegis program. At that time, the Spruance with a New Threat Upgrade (NTU) would have rivaled or surpassed the Aegis system in performance. The Navy decisively eliminated the threat to the favored program.”””

    They certainly wanted to get rid of them. While at the same time other older and worse condition ships have sat around for years.

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    1. """"Cyclone class PCs were built for Special Operations forces who then rejected the ships after they were built for reasons not completely clear. That left the Navy with a class of ship they didn’t want and tried repeatedly to get rid of."""

      Originally the Cyclone class was disliked because it was too big and non-stealthy to sneak in and out of places and too weakly armed to fight its way in or out of places.

      I think now its mostly used in boarding operations and the Navy likes them enough that according to the link below (8 items down) they are spending more then they originally cost to rebuild two of them.

      http://www.coltoncompany.com/

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  2. Are our Naval leaders that stupid and/or corrupt to ruin the ASW and mine sweeping capabilities and spend all this money on the LCS that doesn't have a mission and can't do the mission that it doesn't have. Cancel the rest of the LCS buy and use the money on an allies frigate and minesweeper.

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    1. Anon, this is the queston I've been trying to answer for some time. Navy leadership has made a steady series of questionable (dumb) decisions including allowing ASW to atrophy, not replacing the S-3 Viking, the entire LCS program, the JSF debacle, the LPD, various minimal manning programs, intentionally shorting maintenance of ships, allowing Aegis to degrade fleetwide, and so on. Navy leaders aren't stupid, despite what their collective decisions would indicate, so they must be acting from a basis that seems logical to them. On the face of it, that basis is an overwhelming desire to fund new construction at all costs and to the detriment of all else. Why they would place such an ultimately debilitating emphasis on new construction is the real question. I don't have an answer for that.

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